from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To write hastily or illegibly.
- intransitive v. To write in a sprawling, irregular manner.
- n. Irregular, often illegible handwriting.
- n. Something, such as a note, written hastily or illegibly.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An Irregular, possibly illegible handwriting.
- n. A hastily, or carelessly written note etc.
- v. To write something hastily or illegibly.
- v. To write in an irregular or illegible manner.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. See crawl.
- transitive v. To draw or mark awkwardly and irregularly; to write hastily and carelessly; to scratch; to scribble.
- intransitive v. To write unskillfully and inelegantly.
- n. Unskillful or inelegant writing; that which is unskillfully or inelegantly written.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To creep; crawl; by extension, to swarm with crawling things.
- n. The young of the dog-crab.
- n. A trawl.
- To draw or mark awkwardly and irregularly with a pen, pencil, or other marking implement; write awkwardly, hastily, or carelessly; scribble: as, to scrawl a letter; also, to make irregular lines or bad writing on: as, to scrawl a piece of paper.
- To mark with irregular wandering or zigzag lines: as, eggs scrawled with black (natural marking).
- To write unskilfully and inelegantly.
- n. A piece of unskilful or inelegant writing; also, a piece of hasty, bad writing.
- n. A ragged, broken branch of a tree; brushwood.
- n. In law, same as scroll-seal.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. poor handwriting
- v. write carelessly
Perhaps from obsolete scrawl, to gesticulate, sprawl, from Middle English scrawlen, probably blend of sprawlen, to sprawl; see sprawl and craulen, to crawl; see crawl1.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Possibly Middle English (Wiktionary)